A Republican senator has slammed John Kerry, the US special envoy on climate, for violating coronavirus restrictions by not wearing a mask on board a plane.

Tom Cotton from Arkansas told Fox News late Wednesday that Kerry has a history of “not following” rules that he imposes just after a photo of him not wearing a mask on a commercial flight, taken by an anonymous passenger, surfaced.

“I guess we can say it’s better that John Kerry finally decided to fly commercial as opposed to jetting around in Gulfstream all around the world when he’s trying to supposedly solve the climate crisis,” Cotton said with a sarcastic tone.

Leaders have to “set a good example, if they’re going to impose rules on the American people they should try to follow those rules as well,” he added.

The incident happened a day after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced an extension to its zero-tolerance policy for unruly passengers.

“I have decided to extend the FAA’s unruly-passenger zero-tolerance policy as we continue to do everything we can to confront the pandemic,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said Tuesday in a statement.

“The policy directs our safety inspectors and attorneys to take strong enforcement action against any passenger who disrupts or threatens the safety of a flight, with penalties ranging from fines to jail time.”

Coronavirus measures maintain their importance as the US has reported more than 29.6 million cases and over 538,000 fatalities, according to a running tally of Johns Hopkins University.

Despite the high vaccination number, over 3.1 million doses, the official data showed that COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the state of Michigan which saw some 2,048 new infections on Tuesday.

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